Hurricane

Hurricane

HURRICANE TRAVEL RELATED INFORMATION

Updated : 11 September @ 12:00

While Hurricane Irma has been downgraded to Category 1, it is still generating dangerous storm force winds throughout Florida and currently impacting Kissimmee and Orlando. There is also significant tornado activity, major flooding, petrol shortage, curfews and power cuts throughout the state.  

OVERSEAS CUSTOMERS
Our Duty Office and Management have worked around the clock throughout the weekend, liaising with our own local staff and suppliers who have been assisting customers to help keep them safe.

We are continuing to communicate directly with overseas customers by text and phone to advise on the re-booking of cancelled flights and arranging additional accommodation where required.
 
A curfew will remain in effect until at least 18.00 tonight for Orlando and Kissimmee so customers should remain in their accommodation during this time.
 
All major airports in South and Central Florida remain closed, pending assessment damage. Miami and Orlando Airports are hoping to re-open tomorrow afternoon with a restricted service, but some flight cancellations and delays are expected for the remainder of this week.  
 
CUSTOMERS YET TO TRAVEL FROM THE UK
Dependent on airport assessment damage and reopening, we are expecting some flights to leave the UK for Florida tomorrow, but this is subject to change.

Where a UK bound flight is cancelled, the airline is managing the re-booking process and customers will be confirmed on the next available flight. Where necessary the airline may route customers on indirect flights to minimise the overall delay. Please note that the airline may not always update our reservation system with itinerary changes and so we are advising customers to monitor their flight details on the airline website as times could be brought forward or be delayed. 

Customers Yet To Travel from the UK
Where an outbound flight has been cancelled and we are not able to offer an alternative departing within 12 hours of the original departure time, we are offering the following options:
  1. To postpone the trip
  2. Amend the itinerary to a different destination on the same airline
  3. Have a full refund (this will usually take approximately 8 weeks)
Where flights are still operating, but the customer wishes to cancel, our normal cancellation terms apply (even if this differs from information published by suppliers). 
 
The Atlantic hurricane season usually runs from June through November and we have an experienced team that are able to assist customers whose travel plans could be affected.
 
INFORMATION FOR CUSTOMERS OVERSEAS:
The safety of our customers and staff is our first priority and our Duty Office is open 24/7 to assist and provide customers the latest important information. Our Duty Manager monitors our Duty Office communication and is ready to take any immediate action relating to health and safety issues.
 
Our emergency helpline number is:
1.       Freephone 1-866-359-3412 from the USA or
2.       020 8418 8202
 
Airline Responsibilities
In weather related circumstances, customers are not entitled to claim airline compensation for travel delay but providing that you are due to fly home on a European based airline (including British Airways, Virgin, Lufthansa and Norwegian) you are entitled to claim back reasonable expenses for additional accommodation and a meal allowance for each traveller for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Further information can be found on our www.travelplanners.co.uk/EU261 webpage. Non EU airlines will assist but are not obligated to reimburse customers for out of pocket expenses when a claim should be made to the travel insurer.
 
Keep Receipts
During normal office hours our AfterSales team are on hand to assist customers by providing up to date flight information and book alternative local accommodation where necessary. Customers should keep all receipts for any weather related additional expenses including hotel costs so that you may claim these back through their travel insurer or from the airline in accordance with their responsibilities under EU Directive 261
 
Monitor Local News
We will be monitoring the situation and liaising with a local staff to assess the situation and will text relevant information updates as it becomes available. We suggest that mobile phones should be kept fully charged whenever possible.
 
As hurricane disruption is unpredictable and the local situation can change quickly, please be sure to take safety advice from local authorities by listening to the local TV or radio news program.
 
The local authorities are experienced at managing hurricane related activity and there may be reasons for a mandatory evacuation order to be issued. In such circumstances please follow the local instructions which may include direction to a local shelter and avoid taken any independent action that may be a risk to you and your party.
 
Local Flight Cancellations
For safety reasons, airports may temporarily close or flights could be cancelled and this could affect customers due to fly back to the UK. In those circumstances, the airline will automatically begin re-booking customers on the next available flight and so you should monitor your booking through the airline's website and we may not always be notified of all flight changes.
 
INFORMATION FOR CUSTOMERS DUE TO TRAVEL SHORTLY
 
Amending or Postponing Itineraries
Where customers are due to travel shortly and are effected by potential hurricane disruption, we work with our suppliers and customers to either change destinations using the same airline or postpone the trip to a later date wherever possible.
 
As your Tour Operator, in these circumstances we will waive our usual amendment fees, but should customers wish to cancel rather than postpone or alter their trip, our usual cancellation fees will apply, even if they may differ from the information provided by airlines or other suppliers.
 
Airline Date Change Procedure
We are liaising with our airline partners and have agreed various date change and itinerary amendment options for customers due to travel from the UK in the next seven days. 
 
The UK Foreign Office has not changed the level of travel advisory advice but is providing important information on their website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
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